Navigating National Interest: Unpacking the Funan Techo Canal Project in Cambodia

Recently, both the US and Vietnam have raised concerns about Cambodia’s Funan Techo Canal project, a water route connecting the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to its coastal province of Kep. Besides environmental worries, there is apprehension about the canal locks being used to adjust water levels for the benefit of accommodating a “Chinese military presence in Cambodian territory” next to Vietnam’s border.


In response to these concerns, on April 9, President of the Cambodian Senate, Hun Sen, refuted claims that the canal could facilitate the entry of Chinese military vessels into the Mekong River.

“Why would Cambodia bring Chinese troops into its country, which violates the constitution? And why would China bring its troops to Cambodia, which is contrary to the principle of respect for Cambodia’s independence?” he wrote on his Facebook page.

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